Increasing Recreation Opportunities

A major component of the Mission Reach project is increasing recreation opportunities on the river. Over 15 miles of trails stretch along the river for pedestrians and bicyclists to enjoy. Paddle recreation will be encouraged in designated areas of the Mission Reach. Barge traffic will not be present on this stretch of river, so paddlers can safely navigate the river without interference of motorized boats. This project will also make the river more accessible to area neighborhoods by creating eight street connections.

Additionally, improvements to aquatic and riparian habitat will bring an anticipated increase in the numbers of native wildlife species. That means fisherman, birdwatchers and other nature enthusiasts will have increased opportunity to enjoy wildlife in the area.

Recreational amenities also included river overlooks and picnic areas will be placed appropriately for interesting views and connections to the environment.

Recreational amenities include:

  • Over 15 miles of hike/bike trails
  • 8 street connections to make neighborhood access easier
  • 89 benches
  • 137 picnic tables
  • 5 overlooks with shade structures
  • 9 water edge landings
  • 6 foot bridges
  • 4 pavilions

Please contact Matthew Driffill at 210-302-3222 or at if you are interested in learning how to hold an event along the Museum Reach or Mission Reach.

Paddling Safety

Have fun and be prepared. Presently, there are no concession rentals or outfitters available directly along the river, so you must come prepared by bringing your own equipment. If paddling within the San Antonio City Limits, prepare for a river in a natural condition, and along the Mission Reach, there will be occasional paddling chutes through restored riffles. If paddling outside the San Antonio City Limits, prepare for a river in a natural, rural condition with limited access points. At all times, please use the designated access points and respect private property. Rivers are ever-changing dynamic systems with inherent dangers, so please remember the following safety tips.

  • Plan your trip so that your paddling skills are equal to the water conditions and proceed at your own risk.
  • Never paddle alone and tell someone not paddling with you of your paddling plan.
  • Make sure your equipment (canoe or kayak) is in proper working order; no inflatable boats or water craft.
  • Check weather and river conditions prior to paddling to ensure that paddling trails are safe to use.
  • Always use personal flotation devices and bring a whistle or other sound producing device for use in emergency situations.
  • Wear protective footgear and carry drinking water, sunscreen and insect repellent.
  • Pack out your trash to help preserve the river; No glass or Styrofoam containers.
  • Contact 911 for all emergencies and 311 for all non-emergencies.
  • Please do not feed the wildlife and keep your pets on a leash.

For more river safety tips, please visit the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

The City of San Antonio Parks and Recreation Department has a policy allowing citizens to engage in non-motorized water recreation activities in specified bodies of water within the city limits. As of August 1, 2011, no permit will be required for this activity. Please note that boundaries for non-motorized water recreation activity within the city limits are subject to change by the City of San Antonio in consultation with SARA.

Mission Reach Paddling Trail, San Antonio River

The first section of the Mission Reach Paddling Trail is now open for public access and public comment. If you have paddled the trail, please leave feedback on your experience by clicking here.

Extent of Mission Trail: It is downstream of Mission Road and the low water crossing at Camino Coahuilteca. There are multiple access points marked with a blue pole. View map for details.

The total trail is approximately 6 miles. This section of the river includes several riffle structures that were constructed to improve aquatic habitat. Each of the riffle structures is equipped with a paddling chute that allows paddlers to traverse through the riffle structure.

Mission Reach Paddling Trail FeedbackIt is important to note, paddlers will need to portage around the Espada Dam downstream of SE Military. There are access points on both the east and west banks of the river, as well as, an entry location on the downstream side of Mission Parkway below the dam.

As construction is completed, the Mission Reach Project, SARA and the City of San Antonio will determine when and which sections of the Mission Reach are safe and will be made available for paddling recreation. For updates to this information and for further information about paddle recreation opportunities along the San Antonio River, please visit You can also follow SARA on Facebook and Twitter to receive information related to the San Antonio River.

For more information about other areas within the city limits open for non-motorized water recreation and for a list of City of rules and regulations, please visit the San Antonio Parks and Recreation Department online.

Flow Rate

Site Number USGS Station Name Flow Sample Time Flow Volume
08178050 San Antonio River at Mitchell Street, San Antonio, TX 01/29 at 9:30 PM 11 ft3/s
ft3/s—Cubic Feet per Second  |  NA—Data is not currently available

Recreational amenities also included river overlooks and picnic areas will be placed appropriately for interesting views and connections to the environment.



Texas Pack and Paddle

210- 494-4200

Mission Kayak

210- 849-2958



Mission Reach Concession Study

Phase 1 PavilionThe San Antonio River Authority (SARA) has conducted a study to evaluate concession opportunities on the Mission Reach. This study was commissioned to evaluate which concessions will be appropriate for the area, where the best locations for concessions are and how concessions will be managed.  The findings of the study were developed with input from project stakeholders and the general public.  Click here to view the report.